A YORK primary school's friends group was joined by volunteers from an M&S store in York to help create a wildlife sanctuary with lots of green space for children and families to enjoy.

Twenty volunteers from the M&S York store on Pavement in the city centre team up with Friends of Knavesmire Primary School for the project.

The volunteers helped clear Knavesmire Primary's 'Forest School' outdoor space, build bird feeders and held an enterprise session for pupils from the school. The children will sell the bird boxes to raise further funds for Knavesmire Primary.

Friends of Knavesmire Primary works to enrich the education and wellbeing of all pupils at the school and support the local community.

By transforming the neglected overgrown land at the side of the school, they want to create a green haven for neighbours, and bring more wildlife to the area.

Knavesmire Primary reached out to M&S York for support.

The school was also keen for the children to learn from the M&S volunteers’ retail experience and understand more about enterprise – the cost of making the bird boxes and the profit made from selling them, and how it would benefit the school and wider community.

The M&S volunteers rolled up their sleeves and helped the children design and build wooden bird boxes and feeders.

Shelley King, section manager at M&S York, said: “We’re really proud to be coming together as a team to support Friends of Knavesmire Primary School. At M&S York we care passionately about supporting young people in our community. The education of young people is something we know our customers care about too and we were really pleased to be able to get stuck into creating the Forest School. Volunteering makes a profound difference to communities, and we believe that lots of small actions from lots of people creates a lasting impact to initiatives that do so much good for young people in York."

Christine Banham, Forest School volunteer of Friends of Knavesmire Primary School, added: “When the M&S team contacted us, we were absolutely delighted to be benefitting from their support. Having outdoor space is crucial to children learning about wildlife, developing their skills and encouraging wellbeing, so providing the manpower on the ground to work with the children and bring our Forest School to life has been invaluable. The children learned so much and we’ve all had a brilliant time.”